Manga Review: Moriarty the Patriot Volume Three

Moriarty the Patriot Volume Three focuses half of its time on Sherlock Holmes and the other half on William Moriarty.

Moriarty the Patriot Volume Three
Written by: Ryosuke Takeuchi
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 6, 2021

At the beginning of Volume Three, Sherlock Holmes is arrested for the murder of Count Drebber. Inspector Gregson, who has a grudge against Sherlock, wants to readily believe that the evidence (such as Sherlock’s name written in blood by the body, the murder weapon being similar to one that Sherlock owns, etc.) proves that Sherlock is the murderer. Fortunately, Sherlock has a friend in Lestrade, who allows Sherlock to accompany him to the murder scene. Conveniently, the body hasn’t been moved yet. Sherlock is quickly able to shoot down that he’s the murderer, and the way he did this really made me think of Conan Edogawa in Case Closed. I’m sure that the character of Sherlock Holmes played a major role for Gosho Aoyama’s development of Shinichi/Conan. With his deductions, Sherlock realizes that whoever put the murderer up to this crime is also trying to challenge Sherlock at the same time.

This storyline also introduces the Baker Street Irregulars, a group of street orphans that Sherlock uses as his eyes and ears to help track down information. The kids prove their worth when they figure out who the murderer is through clues that he leaves them in a note. From what’s revealed, the count was a garbage human being, and his actions caused tragedy for the murderer for which he wanted revenge. You have to kind of feel for the murderer, though, because he was ultimately a pawn used by Moriarty to expose how terrible the nobles are. It turns out the murderer doesn’t have much longer to live but it’s still sad to see how he was ultimately used by Moriarty to not only expose this noble’s actions, but to challenge Sherlock as well.

After Scotland Yard takes the credit for solving the murder mystery, Watson writes a book under the name of “Conan Doyle” in order to share the truth about Sherlock solving this case to the world. Sherlock is surprised when he hears that he is the main character, as well as the fact that Watson inserted himself with his real name into the story as well. I found it amusing that they would use the author of the original Sherlock Holmes stories as an inside gag for the story being told in this series.

The second story, “The Hunting of the Baskervilles,” is told in two chapters. We see that nobles are luring kids in the slums to their carriages with candy and promises of jobs, but they have to come with them in the carriage. It turns out these children are being kidnapped for a group of nobles’ perverse pleasure of hunting down the children and killing them. Fred Porlock, who works with Moriarty and his group, learns about what’s happening and isn’t sure if he should bring this up to Moriarty, since he already exposed a noble for similar shameful acts. But Moriarty agrees this cause is important, and he, along with his brothers and Fred, track down the compound. The initial goal is just to take down the nobles, but thanks to Fred’s insistence, they work at rescuing the children as well.

When I read both of these stories, I had to keep reminding myself that Moriarty isn’t really a “good guy,” because he comes across as being in the right due to just how despicable of a depiction the nobles receive in this volume. Moriarty may do things like save the children who were kidnapped for the hunt, but he is still an evil man with evil motives for what he wants to do. This makes for an interesting dilemma while reading this series, and it made me think about and question the ethics of most of the characters in the series. Yes, this even includes Sherloock Holmes.

Moriarty the Patriot continues to be a series that I want to keep reading in order to find out what happens next. The art also continues to capture my interest as well. After reading the first three volumes, I would recommend this series to manga readers who enjoy mystery stories or are fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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